China makes BMP-3 Armored Vehicle knockoff but copying more popular western design

China’s new VN12 armored infantry fighting vehicle is based off of a Soviet BMP-3 design but is modified to look like western armored vehicles. The BMP-3 was priced at about $3 to 3.5 million. A US Bradley fighting vehicle is about 6 million.

Designed originally based on the Soviet-built BMP-3, the VN12 is the export version of China’s ZBD-97 armored infantry fighting vehicle. The vehicle nonetheless looks very different from the ZBD-97, which was produced for domestic consumers. The original Russian-designed vehicle was not popular among foreign buyers, according to the report.

To attract more overseas consumers, Beijing-based China North Industries Corporation redeveloped the vehicle to fit a more Western look.

VN12 strengthened the armor, increased internal volume, the overall weight increased to 23 tons, crew of 3 + 7, the maximum road speed of 70 km, using A water-cooled diesel engine 440kW of (97 type with 404kW diesel engine), so, VN12 improved mobility. range 500 km (97 type 400 km).

VN12 has two variants A turret installed 105 mm smoothbore gun, another 30 mm gun turret installation pieces HJ73D +2 anti-tank missiles, while 97 type installed 100 mm rifled gun (rifle gun) +30 mm 2A72 cannon, and can transmit 100 mm Bastion ATM missiles sighting system (sight-arming) with low light intensity increases as the system or thermal imaging.

The BMP-3 is the descendant of the famous BMP-1, whose appearance in the 1960s shocked Western observers with the idea that an infantry carrier could be a weapons platform as well as a battlefield taxi. The 19-ton BMP-3 could carry seven infantrymen behind an inch-and-a-half of armor.

The tracked BMP-1, which entered Soviet army service in 1969, was far more heavily armed than its contemporaries—and gave Soviet motor rifle units self-sufficient firepower if they dispersed in expectation of a nuclear strike.

The VN12 vehicle at the Zhuhai Airshow held in Guangdong last November. (Internet photo)

SOURCES – S.K. Au-Yeong at War is Boring, Want China Times, National Interest